For expectant moms, following these four key steps will help ensure a supportive work environment and smooth transition to maternity leave.
You're expecting, and although you can't wait to share the news, there's one person you wish you didn't have to tell: your boss.
"Many pregnant women experience anxiety when faced with this unavoidable task," says Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., division chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at MacDonald Womens Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and author of "The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book." She offers tips to help spill the beans:
First to Know
Although it's easier to tell your colleagues first, it's important your boss finds out directly from you before she hears it at the water cooler.
Do Some Legwork
Research your company's benefits and maternity leave so you're informed of your rights. This also will help you analyze your finances so you can decide how much time to take. You can visit nationalpartnership.org to see a breakdown of maternity laws by state.
Consider the Timing
When you tell your boss depends entirely on your situation. If you have pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and they're affecting your job, it may be wise to tell your boss early on. (Most women wait until after the first trimester, when the chance of miscarriage drops significantly.) You can usually hide your pregnancy with baggy clothes until 14-20 weeks.
There's no need to apologize for being pregnant, but be prepared with ideas on how to transition your responsibilities before going on maternity leave. This shows commitment to your job and respect for the head honcho.